Some of you may recall the story that surfaced last week about a stingy pastor who stiffed a waitress of a tip and used God and church tithing as the excuse. It's a strange saga and another example of you never know what will go viral these days.
On January 25, a St. Louis area Applebees waitress, Chelsea Welch, posted a picture on Reddit.com of a receipt that had a unique explanation for not tipping: "I give God 10%, why do you get 18?" On the check, the customer had scratched out the obligatory 18% tip and signed it, "Pastor Alois Bell."
Turns out it wasn't even a table that Welch had waited on, but a fellow co-worker's. That server had shown the receipt to Welch, who was insulted by the no-tip rationale and snapped a phone pic of it. Yesterday, Welch got fired by Applebees, which stated that "our guests personal information - including their meal check - is private...Applebees (has no) right to share this information publicly.
I agree with the policy, but the circumstances that led to her firing still stink. She's stated that she posted the pic mostly as a joke and thought the customoer's signature was illegible, aside from the word "Pastor." After the pic got traction and went viral, she worked with the Reddit website to have any personal info deleted. "I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone." Welch said.
After the pic went viral and internet investigators (Reddit.com viewers) figured out who the non-tipper was, the pastor, Alois Bell, contacted the Applebees and demanded that everyone involved in this case be fired. Now, days later, Bell says, "My heart is really broken. I've brought embarrassment to my church and ministry."
Bell, portrayed as a non-tipping villian in this story, says she was protesting the automatic 18% tipping policy for large parties at the restaurant chain. Bell says she left a $6.00 cash tip at the table (remember, it wasn't Welch's table anyway) and that her credit card was charged the 18% tip, regardless of her scratching out that line on the receipt. Welch says that at Applebees, an automatic tip of 18% is charged to parties over eight people. It's done by computer - there's no choice - and this post-church gathering had 20 customers.
So, who deserves a 3-D Award (Doc's Doctorate of Douchebaggery)? The sting Pastor lady? The fired waitress who broke company privacy rules? Applebees? Tune in at 4:45p for Doc's Dealio to find out.